Car accidents are inherently traumatic. They happen much too fast, leaving your car suddenly damaged or even destroyed. You might be in physical pain and find yourself worried about whether the other occupants in your car are also injured.
On top of the shock of being involved in a car accident, filing a claim is often confusing and frustrating. Insurance companies are hard to get ahold of or otherwise too pushy, demanding that you give a recorded statement when you are in a great deal of pain.
If you were injured in a car accident, you should quickly reach out to an experienced attorney at Pritchard Injury Law for assistance. Our team has the skills and knowledge of Georgia accident laws to help you get the compensation you need for your case.
What are Relevant Georgia Car Accident Laws?
There are many laws that come into play in Georgia car accidents. Some of the more important include:
- Hit and runs. OCGA § 40-6-270 requires that a person stop after being involved in an accident. They also must render reasonable assistance to someone who has been hurt by, for example, calling an ambulance. They also need to share certain personal information.
- Reporting accidents. Some people wrongly believe that they don’t need to involve the police after a crash. Although it might be easier to settle things between yourselves, you must report accidents when there has been more than $500 worth of damage or someone has been injured. See OCGA § 40-6-273.
- Insurance laws. Insurers need to engage in good faith when investigating and settling claims. For example, an insurer cannot refuse to offer compensation if it has no reasonable basis for doing so. An insurer also cannot delay in getting compensation to you once the insurer decides that your claim qualifies under the applicable policy.
These are only some of the laws that apply to drive a vehicle and the aftermath of a collision. Contact Pritchard Injury Firm and let us explain the laws that apply to your case.
The Law of Negligence
The law requires that those who drive a vehicle operate it with sufficient care. When they don’t, they have been negligent and can be held liable for harming someone.
Just what is negligence? It is a standard that requires a person to compare a driver’s actions to those of a hypothetical person using ordinary care. When a driver falls below this standard, they have been negligent.
In our experience, there are many examples of negligence, including:
- Failing to yield
- Forgetting to check a blind spot
- Neglecting to use a rearview mirror when backing up
- Not checking an intersection before making a right-on-red turn
- Driving too fast for conditions
- Passing illegally
- Driving on the shoulder or sidewalk
- Driving while too tired
- Distracted driving
- Texting and driving
If a motorist has engaged in any of this conduct, then they will be liable for the compensation you are allowed under Georgia Law.
Statute of Limitations
Another car accident law deserves its own section because it is so important. It is the “statute of limitations.” This law gives an injured victim a certain amount of time to file a lawsuit or resolve the claim. After this deadline, it is simply too late, and the judge can dismiss the case.
Under Georgia law, you typically get two years to file a claim for bodily injuries. If you suffered property damage, then you get four years from the date of the accident. Some exceptions might apply in both cases, but they are limited. Speak to a Georgia car accident attorney to review your case.
Can You Bring a Lawsuit for Compensation?
Georgia accident laws are designed to protect public safety. But our civil law system exists to help those who are injured in a car accident that is not their fault. With a civil lawsuit, you can receive compensation that makes up for the losses you have suffered, such as:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Damage to your car and other property
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
In certain egregious cases, you also might receive punitive damages if the defendant intentionally struck you, was under the influence or was otherwise reckless.
Each case is different, although most cases settle without the need for litigation. We can review the circumstances surrounding your accident and discuss all of your options.
Speak with Pritchard Injury Firm Today
We are a prominent personal injury law firm that helps many car accident victims get the money they need to move on after a collision. Our attorneys are experienced with both the negotiation process and filing a lawsuit in court so that your rights are protected.
Contact a member of our team today. We offer car accident victims a no-obligation consultation that is completely free. You can tell us about your case and ask us any questions. We will be able to give you a thorough analysis of your case and what type of compensation you can expect.